Selling, but would you buy your own home?
When we are living in our homes it is easy to overlook the list of jobs that we’ve put off doing. It is hard to look at your own property objectively as it’s your own sanctuary, but if you don’t potential buyers will and they may not have the same thoughts as you! In the current buyers market there’s lots of competition so you have to make your home stand out from the rest to perspective buyers. Phil Spencer in an article in The Telegraph gave some great tips on improving your home.
“The idea of curb appeal is to give your home an inviting look that makes the buyer want to stop and take a look inside”
If you’re getting ready to sell your home, you want it to make a good first impression on potential buyers. You may have an updated, modern kitchen and an amazing spa bathroom, but no buyer will see either without first getting through your front door. Your home needs curb appeal.
1. Kerb appeal. They say you can only make one “first impression,” and people usually form their first impression within 30 seconds. The front of your house is a good place to spend a little extra time and money. Plant flowers, trim bushes, weed, pick up leaves, repaint your front door, replace tarnished house numbers or a dented mailbox, get a brand-new neutral doormat, park your old car somewhere else.
2. Clean. Your home must sparkle! Spring Clean your house from top to bottom before putting on the market. Having a weekly cleaning service while selling is probably a pretty good investment. Make sure your windows are clean inside and out too.
3. Eliminate Clutter. This may be the hardest rule of all! We love our clutter – it reflects our memories, hobbies, and values. But it doesn’t sell homes! Clutter makes homes seem smaller and disorganized. (Have you ever noticed that the really expensive stores seem to have an expansive, clutter-free layout, while “cheap” stores are often a jumble of merchandise?) Even the ancient practice of Feng Shui has, as a central focus, the elimination of clutter.
4. De-personalize. Remove objects that your potential buyers won’t be able to identify with. For example, political and religious items may turn off whole groups of buyers, because they cannot “imagine” your home as their home. Buying a home is an emotional decision, and you want potential buyers to make an emotional connection with your home by being able to “see” themselves in it.
5. Pets. Always keep your pets under control. Try confining them to a specific area. Although you may love your pets, they can be off-putting to other people, and smells can be offensive, so make sure there are no lingering odours in furniture or flooring, and if there is, get them cleaned before you sell.
6. Define each area. Buyers need to know what each room is for, so that they can decide where they will place their own items. Sell the lifestyle and you’ll sell your house.
7. Don’t Forget the Rear View. Buyers doing a drive by will try their best to see your back yard. If it’s visible from another street or from someone’s driveway, include it in your curb appeal efforts.
8. Evening Curb Appeal. Do your curb appeal exercise again at dusk, because it isn’t unusual for potential buyers to drive by houses in the evening. One quick way to improve evening curb appeal is with lighting.
9. Pick up. There is nothing that will reduce your home’s curb appeal more quickly than trash and toys thrown around. Remove any junk piles or trash bins that are visible outside the house. If you’ve got kids, make sure the toys are all put away—this means those big plastic toys and play sets as well (or at least place them neatly in a designated area). Even if storage is a problem, put away bikes and other equipment you may have leaning against the house.
10. Repair. Take time to repair missing siding, broken shutters, broken fence panels, and the like. Is your sidewalk in good condition? The path should be swept clean and cleared of obstacles that might trip someone on the way to the front door. Stare at your garage doors (if you have a garage). Is there a dent in the garage door from the time your teenager was learning to park the car? Does the garage door even work properly? Those things need fixing before you try to sell the house. Don’t forget the mailbox. Whether it’s on a post in the yard or up by the front door, make sure it’s painted or polished. Any numbers or letters on it should look neat and clean.